I have a love-hate relationship with Eosinophilic Esophagitis. On one hand, it has brought so much sadness to our lives because they are the words that have made our lives change so much over the last two years. They are the words that define our children’s pain. They are the words that make us feel different. But, I honestly cannot imagine our lives without this disease. While our life is incredibly hard, I am thankful that this journey has made us a take a tough look at our lives. We’ve had to simplify, eat at home around the table, be careful about what we eat, and cling to the Lord’s promises like never before. In the process, we’ve found a joy and a peace that we’ve yet to experience in our mere thirty years of life.
We knew a long time ago that the Lord was calling us to share our story, even before our journey started. In the Spring of 2010, God spoke to me through a good friend who not only felt led, but felt a burning desire to share what the Lord told him. Thankfully, he listened to the Lord’s prompting and spoke these words:
“The Lord wanted me to tell you that your story hasn’t even begun to be written yet, and the ending to your story is much greater than you ever could imagine.”
I remember feeling so special, so loved, that the Lord “saw” me. It was an overwhelming, incredible experience–even though I had no clue what the Lord had planned.
At the time, I was pursuing a professional career in country music (see how tan I used to be??), and I literally thought I hit the jackpot. I started dreaming, wondering if the Lord wanted me to be Martina, Faith, or Carrie. I settled on Carrie since she is not only a superstar, but an outspoken follower of Christ. Oh, and she has killer legs 😉
Fast forward three years. Work from home mom of three kids, can barely find time to shower, blistered hands from washing so many dishes, changing a dozen diarrhea diapers a day, understanding a disease, three whiny, crying kids, managing a husband on swing shift work, and so on. Not really my idea of this “amazing” story I was supposed to have.
But here’s the thing. The Bible tells me that God works together ALL things for the good of those who love Him. Well–I love him. And I believe the Bible is true. So, with my whole being, I trust that this season of life is working together for the ultimate good for God’s kingdom, my family, and for me personally. I don’t have one piece of resentment in my heart of who I could have been or who I wanted to be. The Lord not only values my work just as much as Carrie’s, but THIS is actually what he has called me to do. I know my number one job is to keep my kids alive, and I think that’s pretty awesome. If I only impact those three precious lives, I know the Lord will be pleased.
But I’m just not satisfied with keeping all this information to myself. THIS is the beginning of our story. The diagnosis was not the end of a life, but the beginning of one. We are calling people to change–to totally transform, go against culture, bring it back to the “way things used to be,” keeping Christ at the center the entire time.
That is where our idea for the Pure Living movement was born–a total transformation of Faith, Family, & Food. A community of people working together, encouraging each other to strive for a FULL life.
I know, I know we want it all now. We want the “magic formula” that will make all these things we want appear. But that’s just not how it works. We actually have to spend time educating ourselves, making small changes, and making the CHOICE to live a full life.
This series has no end date because we don’t know when we’ll be done. It’ll just be ideas, thoughts, and direction (however the Lord leads) throughout this year. We hope you will join us and start your journey with us!
When we went through our transformation, we felt alone. We had no friends living this lifestyle–at the time–now, we have tons!! We know it’s overwhelming to think about–trust us we’ve been there. We had no mentor, no help, nothing. (For us, it was a time of TOTAL dependence on the Lord). We don’t want anyone else to feel overwhelmed, so we’ve designed this series for YOU. A place where you won’t feel alone. A place to share. A place to get the information you need to get started.
~to educate & encourage you on your journey to pure living
Our definition of Pure Living:
~We will strive to:
- pursue Jesus Christ passionately with our heart, mind, and soul
- seek God’s guidance in every decision we make
- commit ourselves to loving our neighbors and community as we love ourselves
- simplify and sacrifice to create a life built on healthy, meaningful relationships
- invest quality time, away from the distractions of life, in our surrounding family & friends
- leave a lasting legacy that reflects the love and grace of Jesus Christ
- develop a lifestyle of educated and intentional eating
- have energy to live for God and to serve the world
- teach and empower future generations about sustainable, wholesome practices
Our definition of Clean Eating:
A major focus of our website is food education, so we will be teaching and giving you information to help you start your journey to a “clean” eating lifestyle. We will go into details in the coming weeks, but today, we are just defining what “clean eating” means to us.
Clean eating is:
- NOT a diet; it’s a lifestyle dedicated to eating foods as close to their natural state as possible, leading to an improved life one meal at a time
- avoiding processed and refined foods and instead eating REAL food. 100 days of Real Food is a great place to start for this aspect of CE (especially if you need help with the kids!)
- drinking lots of filtered water
- shopping with a conscience and learning to read food labels
- supporting the local community in order to stimulate and support our local economy
- understanding your limits & eating within reason (Eat to live, not live to eat)
- slowing down and savoring the amazing tastes the Lord has blessed us with
- making meals a social, family affair as much as possible
- We recommend that you buy a journal to chronicle your experiences. It can be as simple as jotting down how you felt, challenges you face, triumphs, failures, etc in a notebook. One day, it will be awesome to go back and read about what God was doing in your life.
- Stay involved on social media when you can. Tell your friends what you are doing, and share the opportunity with them! Post questions and/or encouragement on our Facebook page! When you make a recipe or apply a principle, talk about!
- Use the hashtags #thrivetolive & #pureliving when mentioning the website on social media outlets
- Utilize our Pinterest page (still working on it!) for ideas & help, as well as our website & Facebook page! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter & Instagram, too!
Challenge Questions for Week 1:
Faith: Where do you SEE God most in your life right now? When do you feel closest to Him?
Family: What one night this week could you turn off TV, phones, etc & just do something as a family? Play a game, go bowling, paint fingernails (ok, someone come do mine???) Have REAL “FaceTime” with your family.
Food: What is your biggest addiction right now? What is your biggest fear in changing to clean eating?
Bible verses for the week:
John 10:10: The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but I have come so that you may have life and have it to the full.
Phillipians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength
We can’t wait–and are praying daily for God to lead, move, & inspire!